The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a new campaign urging drivers who tow a trailer to carry out basic safety checks.
Launched on 26 November, #towsafe4freddie is the result of an approach to the DVSA from the parents of toddler Freddie Hussey, who was killed in January 2014 by a trailer ‘decoupling’.
Freddie was walking with his mother in Bedminster, Bristol, when a 2-tonne trailer became unattached from a Land Rover. The trailer mounted the kerb before hitting Freddie. The investigation into Freddie’s death found that the trailer’s handbrake lever was in the wrong place.
The DVSA has produced a short video as part of the campaign which includes important information on checks that should be made, the towball and connections, wheels and tyres, lights and indicators and loads and weight limits. It has also produced a slightly longer film with more detailed information about trailer towing.
The campaign has the support of road safety minister Andrew Jones and the Hussey family’s constituency MP Karin Smyth.
Andrew Jones, said: “I was shocked and saddened by the death of three-year-old Freddie Hussey – it is absolutely essential that drivers carry out a few quick and simple checks to make sure their trailer is safe, so we do not see a repeat of this awful tragedy.
“This campaign will help drivers to make sure they are towing safely and will save lives in the process.”
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, said: “The DVSA’s first priority is to protect the public and help you stay safe on Great Britain’s roads.
“It’s your responsibility to ensure equipment is fitted to your vehicle correctly and used safely. There is no excuse for not being informed.
“Even a short journey with an insecure or unroadworthy trailer puts lives at risk, as the death of Freddie Hussey tragically shows.”